Category: Decor & Style

Take 5… Ways to Style Sheepskin Throws All Year

sheepskin throw featured image

Another Take 5 post for you today, folks, and this week it’s all about the über-trendy sheepskin throw and how you can make it work hard in your home all year round.  Many people consider sheepskin to be a strictly winter-only luxury, however it is an extremely versatile piece of home decor kit and more affordable than ever with plenty of faux options to choose from out there.

Here are some of my favourite ways to work sheepskin in the home and some tips on where to buy those key items…

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Hallway Inspiration

hallway darker grey

Hello, I hope you had a lovely, restful weekend.  I spent some time away with my mum and sister, but I’ve returned to my brood feeling really refreshed and ready to take on the major redecorating project in our home for this year – the hallway.

As you’ll probably be aware, our house was built in the 1930s and the previous owners thankfully retained many of the house’s original features, including picture rails, the front and back doors, leadlights and stained glass windows and the wood panelling on the hallway, stairs and landing walls.  Over the past year, I have deliberated over what to do in the hall and whether or not to repaint the panelling, especially now that there is a definite trend towards darker, more cocooning surfaces, however we have decided that repainting the wood in a lighter colour is the way forward for us.  It will completely transform the space into a lighter and brighter part of the house and modernise it without compromising on the traditional, elegant feel that the original wood panelling brings to our home.

We also need to recarpet the stairs and landing and source some nice new lighting and other accessories, so lots to think about.  Thankfully, when we lifted the carpet up in the hall, we discovered a gorgeous and pretty much unscathed original wooden floor hiding beneath, so a light sand and dark stain should see that right.  (Hopefully!)

I’ve been having a nosey around Pinterest for some hallway inspiration, so here are some favourite ideas I want to share with you.  All these hallways have wood panelling of some kind, so it’s interesting to see how the owners have approached it.

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Take 5… Plant-Perfect Interiors

plant on stand

In a bid to blog a little more frequently for all you lovely readers, I’m going to intersperse longer content-heavy posts with some briefer, snapshot-style inspirational posts looking at key areas in the home that have particular design looks or decor tricks that have worked that you may wish to recreate.  Today I’ve gathered five inspiring interior shots where indoor plants just make it all work.  After all, we’re being blessed with some fine May weather at the moment and spending lots more time in our gardens, but why not bring a little lush greenery into the home, too, for those days when it all clouds over but we still need some sunshine inside our four walls.

I’ve also added some notes on how to recreate any of the looks for yourself… so, enjoy browsing!

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Summer Dining with Amara Living

Amara sugarbush dining ware LSA glassware

May has arrived in all its glory here and across the country, patio tables and chairs have been dusted down, or in some cases, entirely stripped and repainted (you can get carried away when the sun shines), and friends invited over for impromptu barbecues and drinks in the garden.  It’s fabulous!

I was planning a patio tidy up myself recently, when Amara Living got in touch asking me to take a look at some of their summer dining collection.  As a blogger, I had initially heard of Amara as they host the IBAs (Interior Blog Awards), however if you haven’t come across them before, they are an über stylish homes and lifestyle store, housing over 300 of the world’s most luxurious home fashion brands, including Orla Kiely, Missoni Home, Ralph Lauren, HAY and Bloomingville, to name but a few.  Amara have evolved since their inception in 2005 to build on their brand and product range, however quality of service and luxury style remain at their core and their website definitely reflects this.

Here are some products I want to show you in all their summery loveliness…

 

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A Few of My Favourite Interiors Instagram Feeds!

Instagram Favourites

In early 2016, Instagram changed its algorithm, i.e. the way it chooses to display your personal feed, so that rather than presenting users with a chronological list of posts (the whole point of the ‘insta’ bit!), the algorithm organises your feed based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post”.

In a nutshell, Instagram now decides on what it thinks you’d like to see in your feed, a lot like the way Facebook has been operating for some time.  Many Instagrammers, including myself, have been struggling with this new algorithm, noticing more people following then immediately unfollowing them (the sure sign an insta-bot is involved somewhere) and not seeing some of their favourite feeds appear at the top of the page, literally for months!

I recently read an Instagram post by a fellow blogger, Bee, who blogs over at Queenbeady, about how she’s plain fed up with all this fake-followers-on-Instagram business and she urged fellow ‘grammers to share their favourite feeds from any sphere of interest, be it homes and interiors, lifestyle, nature, food, gardening, anything.  I discovered some fabulous accounts that I didn’t know existed, but I simply have too many personal favourites to share on one Instagram post, so I thought why not share my own favourites on the blog?

Keeping to the homes and interiors theme, here is a rundown of the Instagram accounts I think you should check out today, which I have organised depending on the interior ‘look’ you’re into… starting with modern country, moving to scandi, then onto a more eclectic mix of styles and finishing with coastal style.

…be prepared for a huge dose of pure loveliness and incredible home inspiration!

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Easter Touches for the Home: An Easter Blog Hop

easter touches for home

With Easter just a week away, all thoughts of Winter are now far behind us and Spring has truly sprung, with many of us refreshing our home interiors with new accessories and getting out into the garden for some much needed outdoor time.  Perhaps you’ve swapped out the faux fur throws for lightweight colourful striped cottons or packed away the fairy lights with the onset of lighter evenings, but have you considered those little additional touches with a fun, Easter theme?

I was delighted to be invited along on an Easter Home Blog Hop by the lovely Carly who blogs over at A Cup Full of Glitter.  Together, a handful of us have put together some Easter touches to our homes which we’d like to share with you.  At the bottom of my post, you’ll be able to hop over to another super-creative blogger’s Easter home!

Now, I appreciate not everyone is as into decorating their homes for Easter as perhaps they are for Christmas or even Hallowe’en, but there is a fast growing trend for colourful Easter trees, wreaths and decorated branches becoming the norm in our homes.  With a little thought and without having to step anywhere near a discount store’s Easter goody aisle, you can add some delicate, stylish, details to your home that welcome in the new Spring season and cheer things up a bit.

I was recently asked by TK Maxx to have a look at their Easter offering in the homewares department and as I always enjoy working with them, I thought I’d take a look.  Needless to say, I had lots of fun choosing a few accessories that I will definitely be using in my own home this Easter and hopefully beyond… here are my favourite pieces which I want to share with you lovely people. (more…)

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Decor Trends 2017: Get the Tribal Look

Decor Trends Tribal Look

If you’ve been anywhere near a homewares shop or interiors magazine recently, you’ll have surely noticed the HUGE trend for all things tribal that’s been making its way from the catwalks and into our homes.

Fabrics are awash with African prints in earthy tones of rust, ochre and bronze, ceramics are emblazoned with painted tribal patterns ranging from Aztec to Ikat and texture is everywhere, with bamboo, rattan, roughened wood and hessian tying the whole look together.  In fact, you could say this theme is more akin to a nomadic, world traveller trend, with inspiration taken from anywhere between the South American desert (think Aztec prints on woven throws) to the streets and souks of deepest Morocco (think intricately decorated brass lanterns and bejewelled frames and glassware).

So, with many stores on the High Street and the major supermarkets channelling this look through their Spring/Summer ’17 homeware collections, it’s easy to become carried away with it all and buy tribal/nomadic/ethnical everything, but like other super trends that have come and gone before, the trick is to choose wisely … only buy what you love, select pieces that will fit with your particular decor style and aim to buy items that can be easily swapped out when you become tired of the look.  Oh, we’re so fickle, aren’t we?!

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Win at Sleeping with Ikea: Reaping the Benefits of Better Sleep

IKEA bed lamp side view

If you’ve been following the blog lately, you’ll know that over the past few weeks we’ve had the amazing opportunity of working with IKEA on their ‘Win at Sleeping’ campaign, which runs until the end of March.

The campaign is aimed at improving the nation’s quality of sleep by encouraging us all to make a few small changes to how we prepare for sleep.  This can be anything from creating a calm, cosy and restful bedtime environment to adjusting our personal sleeping habits to ensure a full and undisturbed night’s slumber.

I met with IKEA back in February to discuss my own family’s sleep issues and they were able to recommend some strategies and products for us to try, with a view to helping us improve on several sleep-related areas.  If you’d like to see the products we chose to try out, you can read up about it here!

Now that we’ve been using the products for a month, I wanted to update you on how we’ve got on, as well as take a quick look at some other IKEA products you might want to consider trying out yourself.

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Win at Sleeping with Ikea: Making Changes to Improve our Sleep

Ikea our bedroom 1

If you’ve been following the blog lately, both here and over on my Instagram feed, you’ll know I’ve been working with IKEA  on their Win at Sleeping campaign.  With the aim of helping us solve our sleep issues and, in turn, our health and wellbeing, the campaign is centred around what small changes we can make at home to improve our nighttime routine, sleeping habits and general sleep preparation.

As I talked about in my first post in this series last week, we have worked with IKEA to identify our own family’s sleep problems and in order to try to solve them, we will be trying out some IKEA products over the coming weeks.  We were very excited to take delivery of the products at the beginning of this week and after lots of flat pack fun in the ensuing days, I can finally show you what we chose to try out in the hope of better sleep preparation and comfort ahead…
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Win at Sleeping with Ikea:  Solving our Family’s Sleep Problems

ikea bedroom

I don’t know about you, but these cold, dark mornings are making me feel really lazy and lethargic when it comes to getting out of my warm bed at the start of the day.  I’ve also never been that good at getting myself organised and off to bed early during the week; the draw of on-demand telly whilst cocooned in a thick blanket on the couch, being my particular downfall.  Who’s with me on this?  Or perhaps you find yourself scrolling through Pinterest, searching for the answer to your dream kitchen cupboard colour – been there?  Thought so.  We are all depriving ourselves of wholesome sleep for every minute we waste on our tablets or phones when it’s past our bedtime, and in the morning when the alarm goes off, we pay for it.

I was therefore really excited to be contacted by the lovely folk at IKEA, asking me to work with them on their Win at Sleeping campaign, which you may have noticed recently on TV and in the press.  It’s no secret that as a nation, we aren’t great sleepers, with many of us struggling to get a decent eight hours’ kip on a regular basis.  The fast pace of modern life, along with the addictive pull of ever present smartphones and tablets with their stimulating blue screens, is certainly a major contributing factor, however many of our sleep problems have startlingly simple roots, such as inadequate sleep preparation, bad sleeping habits or a poorly organised bedroom environment.

IKEA are determined to promote better sleep for all of us and for good reason, too.  There are countless benefits to be had from sleeping well, including better mood, raised energy levels, improved productivity at work and school, as well as positive health effects, such as improved memory, a sharper mind and lower stress levels.  And the best thing about it?   It only takes making a few small changes to guarantee ‘The Wonderful Everynight’ that we all need…

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